The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier said that Haftar left for Benghazi without signing the agreement and wanted two days to discuss it. The Government of National Accord (GNA) delegation, headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, signed the agreement before leaving Moscow for Istanbul.

The Russian MoD said Haftar’s assessment of the final statement after negotiations with the rival GNA was “positive.”

But before signing, he took two days to discuss the paper with the leader of the tribes that support the LNA.

Libya remains divided since 2011 following NATO’s bombing campaign which led to the overthrow of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi, and devastation of the once prosperous state.

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A fighter loyal to Libya's UN-backed government (GNA) fires a mortar during clashes with Khalifa Haftar's forces on the outskirts of Tripoli © REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
With their statehood destroyed by NATO, Libya’s warring sides should come to terms, not fight each other – Lavrov

The fighting between the internationally-recognized GNA and the LNA has intensified in recent months, with Haftar’s forces advancing on the North African country’s largest city, Tripoli.

The warring parties have been showing no desire to look for compromise, but Russia and Turkey joined forces to finally bring the LNA and GNA to the negotiating table, which is already considered a huge achievement.

Moscow and Ankara want the LNA and the GNA to sign a binding truce that will end hostilities and lay the groundwork for a peaceful settlement. The negotiations were dubbed a “first step in the right direction” by major world actors.

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FILE PHOTO (L) Tayyip Erdogan ©  REUTERS/Umit Bektas; (R) Khalifa Haftar © REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Turkey will not refrain from teaching ‘putschist Haftar’ lesson if he keeps attacking Libya’s government & people – Erdogan

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a summit on Libya would take place in Berlin on January 19.

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